I always enjoy looking at the stack of books sitting on my bedside table. It’s a stack of possibilities, of worlds I can’t wait to visit and new friends to meet. It’s ever changing, depending on my likes and on my schedule. Sometimes, it’s big and bulky–always falling over when I knock the table the wrong way—sometimes, there are only a few slim books. But I enjoy looking at it, either way.
The idea of a “to-be-read” pile is exciting, even if no one else sees it. But what if you read eBooks and download all your desired titles to your Kindle or iPad. What happens to that pile? It’s no longer there. For some, this might be appealing…very organized and easily switched around. You can take your entire TBR pile with you on vacation or on a business trip. You can read anything from your list at any time….on the bus, at the top of a mountain, or in a small cafe halfway around the world. There are no limits when you have your books on a device. Who wouldn’t like this?
I enjoy looking at that stack, and while I often augment my choices with eBooks and audiobooks that I’ve either purchased or downloaded from the library, I still like the feel of actual books. I like looking at the spines all lined up, the various book cover colors and font styles forming their own piece of art. Isn’t that why people artfully arrange books on shelves in their homes? You can look in any magazine and see books as decor, but I challenge you to find even one eBook reader on display. Even an article recently in The Guardian proclaimed that 16 – 24 year olds prefer print books to digital ones, regardless of the fact that they are considered the generation of technology. They cited an emotional attachment to books as one of the reason they like to hold hard copies in their hands—it’s easier to become involved with a book you’re holding, and books as a status symbol, of sorts. The more books on their shelves, the more privileged the readers appear to be.
The same debate seems to be revolving around people who read solely on a device. Although many people are thrilled with the ease at which they can carry around many books and switch between them at will, something is lost by others not being able to see what you’re reading. Isn’t that part of the fun? How many times have you seen someone reading a great book and commented to them about it? It’s a great way to strike up conversation (speed daters, take note!), and many readers will love to talk with someone else about what they’re reading.
Do you have a stack of to-be-read books, and if so, does it include eBooks or are you old school all the way? Do you care that no one can see what you’re reading if you do it on a device? Do you prefer this? Join the conversation below!